PetroCaribe Fund in Haiti marked by serious anomalies, irregularities and malfeasance, says commission report

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti — At the end of an investigation into the use of the PetroCaribe Fund in Haiti, the five senators of the Special Senatorial Commission of Inquiry (CSSE) have concluded that the management of the fund was marked by serious anomalies, irregularities and malfeasance.

The report indicates that the facts revealed that the majority of those who had the authority to order disbursements acted in a manner that the CSSE was able to deduce in almost all the cases that the negligence, inconsistencies and other anomalies were recurring, HaitiLibre reported.

The Commission stated that it could not therefore be simple errors, but rather acts that could mislead and facilitate the operation of unlawful practices, collusion and trading in influence.

The Commissioners said that a review of the contracts showed that more than half of them were signed outside the public procurement procedures (lack of transparency, good governance, etc.) and standards of contract awards (fairness, equal treatment, free competition, free access to public order, etc.)

The emergency laws that were adopted by successive governments from 2008 to 2016 have allowed public authorizing officers and public accountants to exercise their power with an excess that borders on impropriety. Under cover of these laws, both irrational and unlawful acts were performed in violation of regulations and rules on accounting and public finances.

They asserted that the investigations of the bodies concerned have demonstrated weaknesses of such a magnitude that it appeared during the investigation that the PetroCaribe Fund was the object of a large-scale fraud.

The most telling example is that the current situation of the fund and the disbursements made through the 13 resolutions that concern it for the period from September 2008 to September 2016 are so tainted by irregular acts or fraudulent acts that it was necessary to carry out an analysis of the financial statements of the principal manager of the PetroCaribe Fund.

The finding is that it is difficult to comment on the accuracy and reliability of the fund balance, disbursements and contract management. Therefore, the management of the fund according to what has been submitted by the manager does not reflect the financial situation of the fund.

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